Manchester City are reportedly bracing themselves for a Barcelona raid for Eric Garcia and a €15 million bid could be on the cards.
According to Goal, Barcelona are set to come up with a €15 million offer for Eric Garcia. The Manchester City defender has already rejected a contract extension at the Etihad, presumably because of the possibility of a return to Catalonia.
The Spanish giants, too, are seemingly hopeful of striking a deal with Garcia despite the fact that Manchester City are more than okay with the defender seeing out his contract. The Citizens are holding out for a €35 million fee.
Barcelona, however, could be sway City into settling for a lower price-tag, especially following the arrival of Nathan Ake. The former Chelsea star became the second star to arrive at the Etihad this summer, joining from Bournemouth for a fee in the region of €45 million.
Although Ake’s acquisition is unlikely to deter Garcia’s role in the first-team, it is certainly a step in the right direction for Pep Guardiola in his bid to reshape the whole central defensive unit that had to rely too much on ageing stars like Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi in the absence of Aymeric Laporte for large parts this season.
Barcelona, meanwhile, seem to have identified Garcia as their top target as they look for a long-term successor for Gerard Pique. At the age of 33, the Spanish centre-back is already in the final phase of his career, with the Catalans lacking any real depth in that department.
Clement Lenglet has established himself as one of the best defenders in La Liga. But, the Frenchman lacks a reliable partner aside from Pique, with Samuel Umtiti struggling with form and injuries. Ronald Araujo, while promising, is yet to make an impact in the Barcelona first-team while Jean-Clair Todibo drifted away after an impressive start to his loan spell at Schalke.
Garcia, in that regard, appears as an excellent option in Barcelona’s bid to replace Pique. The 19-year-old is well acquainted with the club, having played for the famed La Masia youth academy before eventually being poached by Manchester City in the summer of 2017.
Much like Pique, Garcia’s style of play revolves around positioning sense and a whole lot of technical abilities. He is capable of reading the game very well while his brilliant range of passing allows him to build the play up from the back. Hence, the Manchester City star could be a tailor-made signing for Quique Setien at Barcelona.
However, it remains to be seen whether or not Manchester City are willing to offload their prized defensive asset for a cut-price sum this summer. If not, it will be interesting to see if Barcelona are open to meeting City’s valuation.